March 2023 Asia Week Exhibition:
The Mary and Cheney Cowles Collection of Chinese Ceramics
The Mary and Cheney Cowles Collection of Chinese Ceramics has been quietly and judiciously assembled over the last fifty years. It was purchased from many of the world’s finest dealers and auctions, with a discerning eye for artistic beauty and excellent quality. Their achievement illustrates the true spirit of collecting; not for profit or fame, but as an expression of intellectual rigor and the sheer delight of beauty.
The fifty-six pieces on offer span one thousand years, from the 4th through 14th centuries. They include concentrations in white and sancai Sui-Tang Dynasty earthen wares, as well as Yue, Yaozhou, Ding, Qingbai, Jun, and Cizhou kiln type wares, with black and brown kilns from Northern and Southern China represented. Several of the works have illustrious early 20th century provenance, including Cunliffe, Hellner, Falk, Yamanaka, Eskenazi and Lally.
Some standout examples include a large and intact Yueyao storage jar, a Junyao brush washer from the Hellner Collection, a rare carved Yaozhou yuhuchun-ping, a large carved Qingbai lidded meiping, and a lioness and cubs shaped Cizhou pillow from the Cunliffe Collection.
It has been my pleasure to know and work with Mr. and Mrs. Cowles for over 30 years, and I am honored to be entrusted with the sale of their spectacular collection. This exhibition offers a brief opportunity to view a collection only seen by a handful of visiting scholars, and rarely in its entirety.